Grant to boost direct-to-consumer marketing and sales of meat

OSU received a grant to help interested producers learn more about selling and marketing meat directly to the consumer. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State University received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to increase direct-to-consumer market opportunities for beef cattle and other producers.

The nearly $500,000 funding comes at an opportune time for the state as consumers have shown growing interest in locally sourced foods, according to Courtney Bir, OSU extension specialist and assistant professor. in the Agricultural Economics Department of OSU.

The grant will be used to stimulate online and in-person education to inform producers of opportunities for direct-to-consumer marketing and meat sales.

Direct-to-consumer meat sales and custom harvests are not simple endeavours, Bir said. There are many safety rules and regulations that must be understood before producers can begin selling directly to the public or to retailers.

The prize itself, $388,224, will be matched by $97,056, bringing the total funding to $485,280. This is part of the USDA’s recent announcement of a $90.2 million investment in 203 projects across the country.

“Small and medium-sized farmers, ranchers, and processors have an important role to play in strengthening our food supply chain,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “These local and regional USDA food grants will help these agricultural businesses build, expand, and maintain the processing, distribution, and storage systems that will help move food from farm to table.”